Iran downs 'unknown' drone over Persian Gulf port

Yolanda Curtis
November 9, 2019

A still from a five-second clip published by the Iranian military shows the moment a surface-to-air missile system is fired, purportedly in the vicinity of Mahshahr Country and targeting a "foreign" drone that entered the country's airspace over southwestern Khuzestan province, November 8.

Iranian forces shot down a drone belonging to a foreign country on Friday, state news agency IRNA reported, quoting an Iranian official.

The deployment could further aggravate Iran, which has responded to previous US troop deployments this year with apprehension.

Both countries have repeatedly challenged one another's claims, with the US denying its device violated Iranian airspace, and Tehran denying its drone was hit at all in July.

The governor added that the drone "definitely belonged to foreign countries".

Iranian media earlier reported that the army had shot down a drone over Mahshahr, without providing further details.

Iran's arch-foe Israel declined to comment on the incident.

US Central Command, which has responsibility for Washington's military operations in the Middle East, said on Twitter on Friday "alleged reports of a US drone being shot down are incorrect". The short video showed a missile being launched from the ground followed by an explosion in the sky.

Since May the United States has increased its 70,000-strong presence in the Middle East by 14,000 personnel, according to Pentagon figures, a lot of them deployed to the Gulf region.

In June, Iran shot down an unmanned US surveillance drone, which the elite Revolutionary Guards said was flying over southern Iran.

Neither news agency gave any further details of the incident which comes amid soaring tensions between Tehran and Washington since President Donald Trump unilaterally abandoned a landmark 2015 nuclear deal a year ago and reimposed crippling sanctions.

The intruding drone was reportedly shot by Iran's homegrown air defense missile system "Khordad-3rd".

Yemen's Iran-backed Huthi rebels claimed responsibility, but the United States said the attacks involved cruise missiles from Iran and amounted to "an act of war".

Other reports by iNewsToday